(Now updated with issue information): Rather belatedly, here’s the information on the issues of DC Thomson’s Commando (5003 – 5006), still on sale in all good newsagents for a few more days.
DC Thomson changed the way they provide information about the title which made it impossible for the volunteer team minding downthetubes while I was on holiday to post a news item. For some strange reason, the company also didn’t include details of which titles are reprint in its advisory, which we think is unfair to longtime collectors who may well only want the new stories, although of course regular readers known both the “Gold” and “Silver” issues are reprint titles.
We’re Commando fans and we don’t want to be seen to disparage the hard work of the editorial team on the book. DC Thomson is a British comics company working very hard to promote its brands, and we’re more than happy to plug the title.
The latest issues (5003 – 5006) went on sale Thursday 23rd March 2017.
From the skies of northern France to ruined towns and the sometimes sunny, sometimes stormy Mediterranean, our heroes brave it all in the next few issues of Commando. All set during the turbulence of World War Two, each issue tackles different conflicts in Europe – and it’s not always clear who the enemy is…
5003 Home of Heroes: American Eagles
Story – Steven Taylor
Art – Jaume Forns
Cover – Janek Matysiak
“American Eagles” features Spitfires and Thunderbolts fighting against German ME 109s in the skies over northern France.
American Lieutenant Eddie ‘Mac’ MacDonald was one of the first to travel across the Atlantic and join the Brits in their Eagle Squadrons. But then, after the bombs fell on Pearl Harbor, his homeland ventured into the war and Mac couldn’t wait to share his experience with his fellow Yanks. But not everyone wanted to learn…
Bullets are fired straight at the reader from ME 109s in Janek Matysiak’s cover, preparing adventure seekers for the perils within!
5004 Gold Collection: Trouble Squadron
Previously published in Issue 343 and Issue 1075
Story – Boothby
Art – Auraleon
Cover – Ken Barr
“Trouble Squadron” follows Michael ‘Scatty’ Wilson, who is the only surviving pilot of his unit. Bitter and twisted, he’s ready to take revenge on the Nazis – even at the cost of his new squadron. Emotionless, he’s a zombie among his new men. His chief objective is to hit his targets – his men’s survival no longer a priority.
Framed in cover art by prestigious veteran Commando artist Ken Barr, who designed the first ever cover of Commando, the cover of “Trouble Squadron” contrasts serene sky blues against a trail of fire spurting from the engine of a Spitfire…
5005 Action And Adventure: Urban Gunners
Story – Ferg Handley
Art – Manuel Benet
Cover – Manuel Benet
“Urban Gunners” shows our heroes in the claustrophobia of the American infantry after the D-Day landings. Bored and eager to see the action of the front, American Private Brad Lynch had no idea of the fear he would soon know all too well.
Part of the anti-tank division tasked with covering infantry under German machine gun fire at Aachen, Lynch’s nerves are shaken. His friends are dying – shot down by enemy snipers. His aim is off; he’s tormented by nightmares. Will he ever regain control of himself as he deals with the horrors of war?
With interior and cover art by Manuel Benet, the blackness of Aachen’s crumbling streets compress the panels, showcasing the confined paranoia of Lynch, as the tight buildings offer no escape from the pressure of the front.
5006 Silver Collection: Go Down Fighting!
Previously published as Issue 2570
Story – Ian Clark
Art – Peter Foster
Cover – Jeff Bevan
“Go Down Fighting” follows two heroes in their battle for the Mediterranean. On one side, Italian navy Lieutenant Ricardo Brazzo fondly remembers his youth, working on his father’s fishing boat. He had wanted to see the world, so joined the navy. He was good, eager to chase The Royal Navy out of the Med – to make it Mussolini’s Lake. But he had no idea how good the British navy was. Still he fought on.
On the other side, British navy Lieutenant Norman Ryan commanded a Fairmile launch. He easily tore through Italian convoys and tankards. Then a storm hit, damaging Ryan’s engines.
Both men’s paths will cross, but both will fight on against all odds. Ian Clark’s captivating story of the war at sea shows a side not often seen, blurring the line between hero and villain, friend and foe.
With thanks to Colin Noble for reprint details
UPDATE 3rd April: DC Thomson have responded to our concerns and will be revising the format of future Commando intel. Look out for an interview with Commando editor Kirsten Murray, coming soon!
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.